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Senator Lara's Health for All Tour Stops in Oakland

Senator Lara's Health for All Tour Stops in Oakland

The effort to expand access to affordable health coverage for California’s immigrant population is in full gear this week as Senator Ricardo Lara has been traveling the state to promote SB 4, which takes a strong step toward covering all Californians by expanding access to Medi-Cal to all children regardless of immigration status. The bill also allows undocumented immigrants to purchase coverage through Covered California, which they are currently prohibited from doing.

Senator Lara’s Health for All Statewide Community Tour kicked off in Oakland last night along with Assemblymember Rob Bonta at Asian Health Services. Senator Lara will be traveling throughout the summer legislative break to rally support for his proposal and to build awareness about the expanded coverage options for undocumented children, which will begin in April 2016. SB 4 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations committee when the legislature reconvenes in August.

Community and organizational support at last night’s press conference and community meeting demonstrated the imperative of covering the state’s immigrant population.

Assemblymember Bonta discussed his family’s recent immigration history as one of the main reasons why he’s working on SB 4.

Assemblymember Bonta then welcomed Senator Lara to the microphone where he explained why SB 4 is necessary and how community organizations will be key to ensuring the success of efforts to cover California’s immigrant children in Medi-Cal.

He also pointed to the fact that undocumented immigrants cannot purchase insurance through Covered California with their own money and how SB 4 aims to change that.

The event also featured young advocates from local schools in the East Bay, an intern at Asian Health Services, and a senior patient who is uninsured and seeking services at AHS who all shared their personal stories and how SB 4  and the greater Health for All movement will impact their lives, as well as  their families and  their communities.

Health for All efforts gained more momentum earlier this week when the Los Angeles News Group’s nine Southern California publications endorsed SB 4. The Los Angeles Daily News even ran an op-ed titled “Health Care for Undocumented Immigrant Children: The Right Thing to Do.”

Senator Lara’s community tour continued today in San Jose and Fresno and concludes tomorrow in Los Angeles. The legislature will consider SB 4 in August. You can follow along here on our blog as we continue our work in support of this important legislation and all other Health for All efforts in the future.

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